NATO Foreign Ministers to set the stage for the Warsaw Summit

  • 19 May. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 19 May. 2016 12:02

NATO Foreign Ministers are meeting in Brussels on Thursday (19 May 2016) to begin two days of talks on key issues, setting the stage for the Warsaw Summit in July. Today, Ministers will take a historic step by signing the Accession Protocol with Montenegro. “As of today, Montenegro will have a seat at NATO’s table, taking part in all our meetings as an observer,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Ministers will also consider how best to project stability beyond NATO’s borders, relations with Russia, the future of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and stepping up cooperation with the European Union.

Briefing the media ahead of discussions, the Secretary General underlined that Ministers will discuss further training support for Iraq, expanding the Alliance’s maritime security role in the Mediterranean and assess possible support for Libya. He added that Ministers will also review the state of NATO’s relations with Russia and its assistance to eastern partners. “Our policy is clear. The two pillars of our engagement with Russia are defence and dialogue. Especially in times of tension, it is important to keep lines of dialogue open, and seek more transparency,” he said.

On Friday, Ministers will focus on how to enhance relations between NATO and the European Union at the Warsaw Summit. “This could include three points: a joint statement expressing our will to work even more closely together on hybrid threats; maritime and cyber cooperation; playbooks to clarify in advance who does what in case one of our nations suffers a hybrid attack; and linked exercises to practice that coordination,” said the Secretary General. He noted that Ministers will also decide to sustain NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan beyond 2016, a clear demonstration of the Alliance’s commitment to Afghanistan.